|Chief Commissioner||Reg Williams, RFD|
|Chief Scout of Australia||Peter Cosgrove AK MC|
Scouts Australia, officially The Scout Association of Australia, operates programs for children and young adults from 6 to 26 years of age in Australia and Australian territories. Scouts Australia was formed in 1958, is part of the global Scouting movement and is a national member of the World Organization of the Scout Movement. Scouts Australia's programs were opened to girls after 1971.
Despite opening participation to girls and ever younger children and Australia having a high population growth rate well above the world average, participation in the organization's programs has continued to decline. According to a 2014 media article: "Scouts Australia is hoping [to] arrest a steady decline in membership. In 1979 the organization had 114,500 youth members, today there are 52,000." According to its own Annual Reports  membership has decreased in all sections from a total of 84,502 in 2,126 Groups in 2001 to a total of 63,200 in 1,836 Groups in 2005. In 2010, an (unaudited) increase in overall membership to 65,810 in 1,504 groups was reported. The figure for 2012 was 49,181 youth, 2,587 young adult Rovers and 14,113 adult leaders) in 1,486 groups. This means the organization has an exceptionally high number of adults compared to its number of youth participants with a ratio of more than 1 adult : 3 youths.
- 1 History
- 2 Involvement in WOSM and international scout projects
- 3 Youth Involvement in Decision Making
- 4 Scouts Australia Institute of Training
- 5 Structure
- 6 Training Sections
- 7 Religion in Scouts Australia
- 8 Scouts Australia elsewhere
- 9 Award Scheme
- 10 See also
- 11 References
- 12 External links
For the history of Boy Scouts and the Scout Movement in Australia generally, see Scouting and Guiding in Australia.
Branches of The Boy Scouts Association of the United Kingdom were formed in each of the Australian states. Initially each Australian state branch was directly responsible to Imperial Headquarters of The Boy Scouts Association in London. In 1922, The Boy Scouts Association formed its Australian Federal Council, consisting of nominees of its Australian state branches, to achieve co-operation and coordination at a national level. The Boy Scouts Association later appointed an Australian Commissioner. The Australian Federal Council functioned as a branch of the The Boy Scouts Association of the United Kingdom and the Australian Commissioner was appointed by the Imperial Headquarters in London. The Australian Federal Council of The Boy Scouts Association became a member of the World Scout Organisation of Scout Movements (WOSM) in 1953, rather than being represented through The Boy Scouts Association of the United Kingdom. In 1958, The Australian Boy Scouts Association was formed and it succeeded the Australian Federal Council of The Boy Scouts Association. In 1967, The Australian Boy Scouts Association was incorporated by Royal Charter as a branch of The Scout Association of the United Kingdom. Each of the Australian state branches and the Papua New Guinea branch of The Scout Association became branches of The Australian Boy Scouts Association. In 1971, the association changed its name to The Scout Association of Australia. Until 1976, it admitted only British Subjects to membership and programs and other nationalities only on special conditions and approval. After 1976, British subjects continued to be automatically admitted to membership while foreign subjects, including residents were still subject to special conditions and approval. In 1997 the organisation adopted a new logo and the trading name Scouts Australia.
Involvement in WOSM and international scout projects
The Association is a founder member of the Asia-Pacific Region of the World Organization of the Scout Movement. In the field of support and co-operation with other member countries of the Asia Pacific Region, the organisation has contributed to a number of international friendship and community development oriented projects. Over the years, Australian Scouts have supported emerging Scout Associations in the South Pacific. A twinning project with the Bangladesh Scouts, known as the "Bangladesh-Australia Child Health" (BACH) project made a dramatic impact on child health in project villages during its operation from 1986 to 1992. The Scout Association has a twinning project with the Nepal Scouts known as NATURE Project and involves the reforestation of the Kristi Landslide.
In 1988 Australia hosted the successful 16th World Scout Jamboree and the 31st World Scout Conference. Some 15,000 Scouts from 94 countries attended the Jamboree at Cataract Scout Park near Sydney. An Australian Scout Jamboree has been held every three years since 1934 except for the years of the Second World War. The scout jamboree is the largest national scout event but there is also an Australian Rover Moot and an Australian Venture are also held every three years.
Youth Involvement in Decision Making
In response to World and Regional Scout Conferences held prior to 2000, Scouts Australia established a National Youth Council to engage youth members in national operations and to provide opportunities for these representatives:
- to advise on the relevance of Youth Program to young people;
- to advise Scouts Australia and external agencies of internal and external issues it should address;
- to provide further youth input into all strategies including membership and marketing;
- to be a sounding board for new initiatives;
- to make recommendations to national committees; and
- to continue to develop members' own skills, experience and knowledge in line with the movement's Aims.
Positions were first advertised at the 19th Australian Jamboree held at Cataract Scout Park in Sydney in January 2001 and by April of that same year, the first 30 Scouts, Venturers, Rovers and Young Leaders had been chosen to represent the youth population of Scouts Australia. The Council held its first meeting on 4–6 May 2001. Today, there are 25 members on the Council from all branches of Scouts Australia. The only non-youth member of the Council is the Adviser who does not have any voting rights. The Council meets face to face twice a year and works in patrols and meets using online collaborative tools throughout the rest of the year. The Chair of the National Youth Council is a full member of the Scouts Australia National Council and therefore has voting rights on the National Operations Committee and National Executive Committee.
Scouts Australia Institute of Training
In 2003 Scouts Australia became a Registered Training Organisation, trading as the Scouts Australia Institute of Training (SAIT). Scouts Australia's adult Leader Training program now leads Adults and Rover Scouts to a Certificate IV in Business Frontline Management and a Certificate IV in Leadership, as well as the Scouting Woodbadge qualification. Woodbadged Leaders and Rovers can then undertake the Diploma of Leadership/Diploma of Management qualifications through SAIT.
In 2011, Scouts Australia Institute of Training added a number of the SIS10 Qualifications to its scope, and changes are occurring in the individual State branches to allow Adventurous Activity Leader training to also lead to the Certificate IV in Outdoor Recreation. Adventurous Activities Leaders are Leaders who specialise in the running of advanced adventurous activities, such as Abseiling, Rock Climbing, Scuba Diving and Mountain Biking, as opposed to the everyday running of a Scout Group and more basic activities such as camping and hiking.
Scouts Australia is a council consisting of a majority of members elected by the council itself, office bearers appointed by the council or its Executive Committee, state and territory office bearers appointed by the National Executive Committee and a smaller number of representatives from state and territory branch councils which are similarly not elected by or representative of the scouts, the adults in scouting or scout groups. The National Council usually meets just once a year. Its National Executive Committee seeks to achieve co-operation and coordination of the state and territory branches. The New South Wales, Victorian and Tasmanian state branches are incorporated under special Acts of the state parliaments. while the Western Australian, South Australian, Queensland, Northern Territory and Australian Capital Territory branches are incorporated by registration under the ordinary Associations Incorporation Acts. Each state or territory branch maintains its own structure and operational methodologies and rules. However, all branches operate programs for children and young adults under a common uniform and common award scheme structure.
The current Chief Scout of The Scout Association of Australia is Sir Peter Cosgrove, who is the Governor-General of Australia,. The Chief Scout of each state branch has usually been the Governor of the state. In 1942, Sir Leslie Orme Wilson, the Governor of Queensland, resigned as The Boy Scouts Association's Chief Scout of Queensland due to the failure of the Queensland Branch to respond to his call for reforms to its centralization effort that led to the severance of the Mount Morgan Blue Boy Scouts.
Youth training in Scouts Australia is divided into several age group stages. The age groups overlap and encourage movement through the sections as the youth member matures. The youngest section is Joey Scouts (6 - 8 Years). Joeys is about activities to help develop a child's sense of personal identity and sharing. This is demonstrated by the Joey law A Joey cares, a Joey shares. Joeys "Hop hop hop." Cub Scouts (7.5 - 11), formerly [Wolf Cubs], aims to develop a sense of adventure and achievement and a chance to grow their character. Cubs "Dib dib dib." The Scouts Section (10.5 - 15) promotes understanding of campcraft and the environment, whilst developing team skills and organisational abilities. Venturer Scouts (14.5 - 18) use the skills learnt in the later years of scouting through a system of self-governance. Rovers (18 - 26) is all about developing the social connections gained in earlier years in scouting and serving the community and the organisation.
Throughout its history the Scouting Movement has been clearly identified by its uniform. Over the years much goodwill has been received by the Scout Movement and the uniform serves as a focus for the support of the community.
Within the Movement the adult uniform enables the leaders to be closely identified with those they lead. The uniform also expresses the basic values that are involved in being an Adult Leader. For an Adult Leader, the uniform expresses the fact that all are equal before the task in hand. Common ideals are shared by recognising the roles of other leaders by the insignia on their uniforms.
The core uniform is a dark blue shirt with the relevant youth Section colour across the sleeves, yoke and collar; a blue or moss-green belt (white for sea scouts); scarf and woggle.
These colours are the official ones for the youth sections. The colour for the leaders' shirt is dark blue.
The Lone Scout Group is for the youth unable to attend or find a local Scout group. Lones include people with disabilities and are therefore unable to attend regular group meetings, people who are constant travellers or go to places at which they are unable to attend a group i.e. boarding school or isolated communities.
Religion in Scouts Australia
To become a member of the Scout movement you are required to make the Scout Promise. (Policy P7.3 - Membership) The unique wording in the Australian Scout Promise of “do my best to do my duty to my God" allows some flexibility and the movement is open to people of all religious faiths that can make this promise. However, those who choose not to make this promise cannot become members.
Historically, Scouting in Australia was rooted in Christianity as that was the world view of Scouts founder, Lord Baden-Powell. Although Britain is now a majority non-religious nation Christianity was the dominant faith in both Britain and Australia in Scouting's early days.
More recently, members have come from many faiths and although the majority of Scout Groups promote an interfaith approach to religion (Open Groups) many Scout Groups have been formed within existing communities and specific religions (Sponsored Groups), such as Coptic Orthodox, Greek Orthodox, Islamic, Judean, etc.
Scouts Australia elsewhere
Non-sovereign territories with Scouting run by Scouts Australia include
The Award Scheme in Australian Scouting consists of Awards for Proficiency in an Adventurous Activity, participation in Major Events, recognition of service, Gallantry and Meritorious Service, and for the practice of scouting (Queen's Scout, Baden-Powell Award, etc.).
Adult Recognition Awards
Adult Recognition Awards (formerly Good Service Awards) are presented each year by the Chief Scout of each Branch and are presented for service to Scouting over and above what is expected for someone who is simply carrying out the duties of their position. These awards can be nominated by anyone affiliated with Scouts Australia.
|Adult Recognition Awards for Adult Members|
|Award||Minimum Time in Service||Description|
|Certificate of Merit||3 years||Certificate
Badge: White and Green knot on blue background
|Silver Arrowhead||7 – 8 years||Silver Medallion depicting the logo of Scouts Australia on a yellow ribbon
Badge: Yellow knot on blue background
|Silver Wattle||12 years||Silver medallion depicting a wattle on a green ribbon
Badge: Green knot on blue background
|Silver Koala||16 years||Silver medallion depicting a koala on an orange ribbon
Badge: orange knot on blue background
|Silver Emu||20 years||Silver Medallion depicting an emu on a purple ribbon
Badge: Purple knot on blue background
|Silver Kangaroo||20 years
Also presented to members of other WOSM organisations
|Silver medallion depicting a kangaroo on a green and gold ribbon
Badge: Gold knot on blue background
|Adult Recognition Awards for Supporters and Lay Members|
|Award||Minimum Time in Service||Description|
|Certificate of Merit||3 years||Certificate|
|Silver Arrowhead||7 – 8 years||Silver Medallion depicting the logo of Scouts Australia on a yellow ribbon|
|Outstanding Service Award||12 years||Silver medallion on a green ribbon|
|Distinguished Service Award||16 years||Silver medallion on an orange ribbon|
|National President's Award||20 years
Also presented to members of other WOSM organisations
|Silver medallion on a red ribbon|
|Adult Recognition Award for service to the Rover Scout Section|
|Award||Minimum Time in Service||Description|
|Rover Scout Service Award||5 years service to the Rover Section by a Rover
10 years service to the Rover Section by an Adult Member / Supporter
|Silver and red medallion on a red and white ribbon
Badge: Red and White knot on blue background
Awards for Gallantry
Awards for Gallantry are made by the Chief Scout of Australia for actions involving risk, for example for saving someone from a burning building, to individual members or groups.
|Awards for Gallantry of Scouts Australia|
|Certificate of Gallantry||Actions involving limited risk||Certificate
Badge: Blue and White knot on blue background
|Gilt Cross||Gallantry involving limited risk||A Gilt Cross on a Red and Blue ribbon
Badge: Blue and Red knot on blue background
|Silver Cross||Gallantry involving considerable risk||A Silver Cross on a Blue ribbon
Badge: Blue knot on blue background
|Bronze Cross||Special heroism or extreme risk||A Bronze Cross on Red ribbon
Badge: Red knot on blue background
Awards for Meritorious Service
Awards for meritorious conduct are awarded for actions that may not have involved risking of life but still display courage, endurance, initiative or devotion to duty, often under suffering. As with Awards for Gallantry, these awards are made by the Chief Scout of Australia to individuals or groups depending on the circumstances.
|Awards for Meritorious Service of Scouts Australia|
|Certificate of Meritourious Conduct||Actions involving limited risk||Certificate
Badge: Green and Blue knot on blue background
|Medal for Meritorious Conduct||Gallantry involving limited risk||A medallion on green ribbon with a vertical red stripe
Badge: Green and Red knot on blue background
- Baden-Powell Guild (Australia)
- Gang Show
- Glossary of Australian Scouting terms
- Clement Roy Nichols
- Queen's Scout Award
- Sea scouts
- "Scouts Australia: Annual Report to the Nation 2013". Scouts Australia. Retrieved 17 February 2014.
- Sunday Telegraph November 2 2014 page 25
- Scouts Australia Annual Reports
- "Annual Report To The National 2010". Scouts Australia.
- Scout Association Act - amendments to 2003 Accessed 14 December 2006
- Royal Charter of Incorporation of The Australian Boy Scouts Association, 1967, Australian Boy Scouts Association, 1969
- Policy, Organisation and Rules of The Boy Scouts Association, 1959 Rule 24; POR of The Australian Boy Scouts Association, 1969 Rules 2/3 & 2/4; POR of The Scout Association of Australia, 1976 Rules 2/3 & 2/4
- Policy, Organisation and Rules of The Scout Association of Australia 1981 Rules 2/3 & 2/4; POR of The Scout Association of Australia 1993 (in effect until 1996), Rules 2/3/& 2/4
- Bangladesh Scouts Home page Accessed 14 December 2006
- Paper on Project Accessed 14 December 2006
- Submission to inquiry into Charitable and Related Organisations by Scouts Australia, 2003.
- National Youth Council Operations Manual, Scouts Australia, May 2010
- Annual Report To The Nation 2010, Scouts Australia, June 2010, p14
- Scouts Australia Institute of Training Accessed 14 December 2006
- Training.gov.au - Scouts Australia Institute of Training
- Scouts Australia NSW Branch
- New South Wales: Scout Association of Australia (New South Wales Branch) Incorporation Act 1928; Victoria: Scout Association Act 1932
- Chief Scout Accessed, 14 December 2006
- Young, Keith; Robert Campbell (1996). "Mt. Morgan Boy Scouts: Governor Resigns as Chief Scout". Scouts of Australia. The British Boy Scouts and British Girl Scouts Association. Retrieved 10 August 2012.
- Report to the Nation 2006 Scouts Australia, Accessed 24/6/7
- Lone Scouts South Australia Accessed 7 February 2007
- Policy and Rules of The Scout Association of Australia 2008)
- Leader Support Guide Number 35
- The Guardian - Religion. Respecting the minority
- Joining Scouts
- Policy and Rules of the Scout Association of Australia 2008. (Rule 13)]
- . Rovers Australia http://www.rovers.com.au/awards/rover-service-awards. Missing or empty
- Policy and Rules of the Scout Association of Australia 2012. (Rule 9.5 and 13.5)
- Scouts Australia
- Scouts Australian Capital Territory
- Scouts New South Wales
- Scouts Northern Territory
- Scouts Queensland
- Scouts South Australia
- Scouts Tasmania
- Scouts Victoria
- Scouts Western Australia
- Victorian Scout Heritage Centre
- Map of Australian Scouting
- Scouts Australia National Youth Council